Pushkin [SF, Financial District]

Just wondering how everyone feels about Pushkin. I work near there and it’s become part of my rotation. Pelmeni handmade every day. It’s in the international food court on Kearny and Bush.


Question: Is there a noticeable butter/dairy flavor in the beef or lamb pelmeni? I love pelmeni but am lactose intolerant (I can cheat a little bit, but anything actually bathed in butter will be no bueno for me).

I’m not sure, to be honest, as I drown my pelmeni in broth and sour cream, so I’m not the best judge. I will ask next time.

Good to see you posting!

Have you tried the vareniki?

I find I never have to worry about butter since it’s basically fat and lactose being water-soluble, should be in significantly lower %s.

Yes, I’ve tried the vareniki. I thought it was just okay, quite a bit like pierogi. I much prefer the pelmeni. Of the other menu items, I like the mushroom pirojki.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sensitive and have a rarer form of lactose intolerance (might even technically be an allergy; I was a kid when diagnosed and don’t recall all the details), but in any case, butter is pretty bad. I can tolerate, say, a small portion of biryani cooked with yogurt, or a couple bites of a baked good with butter cooked in, but that’s about it–any more and I run the risk of hours/days of sinus hell.

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I asked last time, they said no dairy. “No dairy. Eggs.”

Awesome, thank you for asking.

I had lunch there this morning, right when they opened at 11am.

My favorite item was the apple Pirojki, which bests any apple pie filling I’ve had in recent years. The raisins were plump, and were matched in their firmness to juicy apple chunks. The dough has egg, and especially with the poppy seeds, reminded me slightly of challah.

The pelmeni and the vareniki dough, or their cooking liquid, needed more salt, and I wish they went one more notch thinner on their pasta rolling machine. One vareneki’s dough was had some undercooked bits, but the dough was fresh so it wasn’t a big deal. Overall, I still liked the feel of the dough more than the brand I buy frozen.

The lamb filling in the navel-shaped pelmeni was mild and quite good. I wish I could comment on the broth, but there was so much dill it was difficult to taste it.

The crescent-shaped potato mushroom vareniki were slightly pan-fried, just enough to form a crust on one side, and topped with sautéed onions that tasted of mushrooms. I liked that these weren’t fried to death, which is typical of the few Bay Area places with pierogies.

They has Russian honey cake today. Very soft, completely different than the saw dust cakes they sell in the Richmond District. Not quite as refined or strong in honey taste as 20th Century Cafe, but very yummy.